Worst States For Medical Malpractice Risk


I just read an article in American Medical News about medical malpractice insurance costs. Included in the article was a small graphic about how much internists pay for medical malpractice insurance.

Internists in Dade County, Florida paid medical malpractice insurance premiums that were 1400% higher than internists in the state of Minnesota. Illinois internists in Chicago paid more than 12 times as much in malpractice insurance premiums as their Minnesota counterparts. In other words, internists in select Florida and Illinois counties pay more for malpractice insurance in one month than internists in the state of Minnesota pay for an entire year.

There are similar premium disparities for general surgeons and obstetricians, with Long Island, NY and Las Vegas NV also consistently being on the list for high malpractice premiums

Does that mean that the Florida and Illinois physicians were 1200% to 1400% more negligent than doctors in Minnesota? Doubtful. It just means that Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Las Vegas, NV; and Long Island, NY are places where insurance companies have determined that it is much more risky to practice medicine.

When doctors search for the best states in which to practice medicine, they should consider the medical malpractice environment when making that decision. Given these statistics, doctors should not practice in Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas, or Long Island if they want to reduce their medical malpractice risk.

Yet Florida lawmakers reach out to news stations and claim that the state “desperately needs more doctors.”

Suing your way to better health care doesn’t work very well, does it, Senator Nelson?


  1. A point that I think is often missed when we look at relative rates of malpractice insurance is the overall conditions in which medicine has to be practiced. In those counties of Florda and Michigan, you practice with a price on your head. You know you will be sued, it is just a matter when. You then alter your practice of medicine based on what is best for law suits and perhaps not what is best for the patient. The high insurance costs are based on the plethora of cases that are difficult and costly to get tossed out of court even though they are frivoulous. TrialLawyers, INC runs the show in those areas.

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  3. There are certainly some jurisdictions that are more favorable to plaintiffs. But, really, trial lawyers don’t run the show anyway.

    Isn’t saying “you alter your ppractice for lawsuits” the same as say “committing malpractice”? If a doctor is ordering tests which involve some level of risk to the patient to protect themselves, isn’t that malpractice?

    • Ron,

      Ordering of tests from a physician to help a patient is NOT malpractice! People better wake up and stop these silly, stupid legal suits as there will not be enough doctors in the next 10 years. Between our government being involved and ignorant people we all will suffer in the very near future. There needs to be major reform on malpractice suits and I have a good answer but much to long to write on these site. Lawsuits must cease…malpractice is with the intent of commiting “malpheasance” and I do not know many that are truely doing so. Doctors are not “Gods” they are just like every other person.

  4. On the contrary…ordering a test will help the patient. Poor doctors are damned if they do and damned if they don’t!!!!!!!!!!!!! That really must cease and yes….trial lawyers are running the show and when there are lawsuits it should be with a jury of their peers not ignorant, non-educated people and people that do not have a clue about healthcare. Fewer and fewer more people want to become doctors….ask yourself “why?”

  5. I agree with you K. A doctor has to practice defensive medicine because of the proliferation of malpractice lawsuits. It is interfering with proper and rational medicine.

  6. Illinois, specifically Cook County is an absolute nightmare to practice medicine. There are multiple “C’s” to avoiding malpractice including competence and compassion, however, I also include Cook County in those C’s. I was served for a case during our BLOCK PARTY!! in front of all the neighbors. THe sheriff drove around the blocked off street, through various fire pits and children, to serve me in front of all the neighbors. I ended up leaving the state all together. And I was a young physician! Good job Illinois lawyers-if driving out the talented doctors is your goal-job well done. Just don’t get sick!

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